Source: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of South Africa
41.The Committee notes the statement made by the delegation during the dialogue indicating that the State party has initiated a birth registration project to ensure the registration of all births that take place in the health-care facilities, which enables birth registrations at all 1,445 health-care facilities with maternity wards. However, it is concerned that women and girls living in rural areas and informal settlements in urban areas face challenges in accessing birth registration and identity documents, depriving them of access to basic services and COVID-19 vaccinations. The Committee also notes with concern a lack of safeguards in the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Act No. 51 of 1992) to prevent children of undocumented women from becoming stateless.
42. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Facilitate access to birth registration and identity documents for women and girls living in rural areas and informal settlements in urban areas through affordable and easy procedures, including online and through mobile civil registration units, with a view to ensuring their access to basic services and COVID-19 vaccinations;
(b) Amend the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Act No. 51 of 1992) to ensure that children of undocumented women do not become stateless.